Just exactly how dysfunctional is our parliament?

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I need to set the scene.

Cross party attempts to discuss the retirement age and agree on a way forward? ?No.

Cross party attempts to discuss going into Iraq and reach consensus? ?No.

So what on earth would an issue be that parliament can possibly work together on and put their tribalism to one side for the good of the nation?

Can you guess?

The Government has announced the panel charged with selecting a shortlist of new flag designs, including reality television guru Julie Christie, businessman Rod Drury, former Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and sporting legends Beatrice Faumina and Sir Brian Lochore.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English announced the Flag Consideration Panel today, which will be chaired by John Burrows, the former deputy chancellor of the University of Canterbury. Writer Kate de Goldi is the deputy chair.

Others include Nicky Bell, the chief executive of ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi; former Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin, youth councillor Stephen Jones, academic Malcolm Mulholland and Maori studies academic Hana O’Regan.

Mr English said the group was chosen from names nominated by a cross-party group of MPs. “Each member has committed to undertake the flag consideration process carefully, respectfully and with no presumption in favour of change.”

I note that people that don’t want a change aren’t represented.

Flag Consideration Panel.

…give me strength.

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